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During the city’s update on COVID-19 in Louisville today, Mayor Greg Fischer and Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Sarah Moyer stated that with Louisville’s COVID-19 case counts significantly increasing, extreme action is needed by everyone to stop the spread.

Jefferson County has surpassed 2,000 weekly COVID positive cases in the past two consecutive weeks.

Voicing her concerns of the city nearing record highs of COVID spread, Dr. Moyer said, “I want to make this clear: everyone in our community is at risk for catching COVID-19 or spreading it to your friends, family or coworkers if you let your guard down.

“We must renew and strengthen our commitment to fight this virus together. I know so many of you are doing the right thing. You have been sacrificing to protect yourselves but also because you care about others. Please don’t give up the fight. Stay strong. We can do this. But it will take all of us.”

“COVID-19 is a threat to our community, and it’s a threat that each of us needs to take more seriously than we have been,” said Mayor Fischer. “We are in the ‘red zone’ again this week. As we look ahead to the holidays and family gatherings, we have to factor COVID-19 into our plans, or we are potentially putting ourselves and our families in serious danger.”

Here are the key data metrics for the week of November 10:

  • There were 2,300 new cases over the previous week.
  • Louisville’s rolling two-week average positivity rate is at 6.8 percent.
  • Hospitalization data:
    • 16% of patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19.
    • 66 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of November 10, an increase from 58 the week prior.
    • 40 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of November 10, compared to 34 last week.
  • COVID-19 cases are in every Louisville ZIP code, with nearly all at the red alert level.
  • Largest increase in cases remains in those ages of 15-34.
  • Given the high level of community spread, any interaction with members outside your household leaves you at greater risk of bringing an infection home. Once one person is infected in a household, they are likely to spread it to other members.

As the amount of COVID spread in the community continues on an upward trajectory, Dr. Moyer issued her recommendations on how residents must adapt to break the chain of transmission. They included reducing all contact with people who you do not live with including refraining from attending bars, events such as parties, weddings, funerals, sports practices and other gatherings. 

“Simply put, in order to stop COVID-19 from spreading so rapidly, we need to severely limit where we go and who we are around,” she said. “With the record number of cases weekly, no indoor activity is safe from COVID.”

Updated Compliance Strategy

Due to the uncontrolled outbreak and increasing spread of COVID-19 cases across Jefferson County, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness is expanding compliance and enforcement activity across Louisville.

“We want our community to know we are taking it seriously. COVID is the primary concern that we have in our community that is affecting our public health right now,” said Nick Hart, Environmental Health Manager.

According to Hart, environmentalists will quadruple the amount of time spent during evening, late-night and weekend surveillance, focusing on peak operation hours. Hart noted these are crucial periods where large numbers of people often congregate in shared spaces.

Additionally, inspectors will be observing businesses that are serving the public on a regular basis. Businesses will not know who is in attendance conducting surveillance, but could get a follow-up email or phone call afterward if a violation is observed.

“We’re not trying to disrupt businesses, but we are trying to get a realistic idea of what it looks like during the times we see people out in our community,” he said.

Hart said Public Health and Wellness plans to publish a violation list on its website for the public to see who is not complying with Healthy at Work or face-covering guidelines.

COVID Care Kits aim to alleviate stress for those in self-isolation

The Department of Public Health and Wellness Center for Health Equity has been working to increase support for residents affected by the virus.

Rebecca Hollenbach, Executive Administrator at the Center for Health Equity, said asking people to partake in new behaviors like self-isolating for 10 days or more can prove difficult.

To improve that experience, care kits are being distributed to individuals in Jefferson County who have tested positive and in the city’s contact tracing system.  Care packages include educational resources, medical resources and items for self-care.

“This is a gift of support from us to you to thank you for everything you’re doing to help keep yourself, your family and your community safe,” Hollenbach said.

First Responder Data

Currently, 116 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 54 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation
  • 34 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
  • 28 are off with symptoms, pending test results

Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:

  • 322 positive tests
  • 269 have fully recovered and returned to duty

Metro Corrections inmate data:

Total Tested = 4040

Total Positive = 251

Total Recovered = 236

Total currently under medical isolation = 15

Total pending = 0